European cities continue to future-proof their public transport. Most recently the city of Bodö in the very north of Norway, which has placed an order for a comprehensive package consisting of 31 electric Volvo buses, charging infrastructure and servicing. When the buses become operational in July 2021 they will be the northernmost electric buses in the world, and the first to enter operation north of the Arctic Circle.
“This is the largest sustainability project for road transport in northern Norway, and it is of immense significance for both the region and for us,” says Anders Mjaaland, Administrative Director of Saltens Group, owner of Nordlandsbuss which handles operation of the electric buses.
The transition to quiet and exhaust emission-free electric buses improves the urban environment and dramatically reduces the climate impact of public transport in Bodö. It also marks an important step for reaching Norway’s ambitious climate targets, which among much else stipulate that all city buses in the country shall be able to run emission-free by 2025.
The agreement came after a particularly thorough analysis of Bodö’s unusual preconditions for electrified bus operation.
“Every city is unique and in order to create an optimal solution, it is vital that everything is properly designed to suit local conditions and needs. For that reason our initial analysis, including route simulation, plays a crucial role in our business model. Topography, route frequency and proximity to the depot and workshop are other important considerations in our offer,” explains Svenn-Åge Lökken, Sales Director at Volvo Buses in Norway.
The environmental benefits of bus electrification also open up new possibilities for future urban planning. As emissions and noise disappear, availability can be improved. The buses can operate in sensitive areas in city centres, and bus stops can be built where this was not previously possible, including indoors.
Of the 31 electric buses that make up the order, 17 are of the 12-metre Volvo 7900 Electric model and the remaining 14 are high-capacity Volvo 7900 Electric Articulated buses. These can carry up to 120 passengers. The charging infrastructure will be delivered by ABB.
Other Norwegian cities which like Bodö have chosen the Volvo Buses solution for electrification of public transport are Drammen and Ålesund, and all told Volvo has received orders in Norway for 63 electrified buses in 2020.